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A light and summery lime coconut cake with decadent lime and mango flavours. This cake is made with a soft, moist sponge and filled with a zingy lime and mango jam and fresh slices of mango. Covered in a lime white chocolate ganache for a beautiful and delicious finish. This lime coconut cake is perfect for summer celebrations, birthdays or weddings.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one loved by my entire family – who swear by it, by the way. This lime coconut cake with mango jam is a true feast for anniversaries, birthdays or weddings. The flavours are a match made in Heaven, with the delicate coconut, sweet mango and tangy lime.
8 Reasons To Love This Lime Coconut Cake
- It’s super soft – The recipe has a lot of creamy ingredients and is relatively high in fat. Although the recipe is not exactly diet-friendly, it does make for a super moist and soft cake!
- The flavours are delicious – Coconut is a subtle, yet very fragrant flavour. The sponge cake contains coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut extract AND shredded coconut.
- There is crunch! There is a hidden layer inside the cake with toasted coconut (YUM!) and paillete feuilletine (crepe flakes). This gives some texture and crunch, but also extra coconut flavour.
- Not overly sweet – the sugar is kept at bay so the cake can have a balanced level of sweetness.
- It’s very fresh – The homemade mango and lime jam is incredibly refreshing and zingy. There are fresh slices of mango between each layer for even more freshness.
- It’s not buttery – Buttercream is not to everyone’s taste as it can feel quite fat in texture or overly sweet. This cake doesn’t use any, and features white chocolate ganache instead.
- Modern looking – This cake is quite simplistic in decoration and doesn’t require any exceptional artistic skills. The naked cake is simply decorated with candied slices of lemon and lime.
- You can get creative with flavours – switch up the flavours if you prefer other fruits. You can replace mango with strawberries, orange or blueberries. Similarly, you can replace lime with lemon, ginger or grapefruit.
The Secret to Intense Coconut Flavour
Coconut cake needs to be soft, moist and full of flavour. In order to achieve the perfect balance, this recipe calls for multiple ingredients that enhance the flavour.
- Coconut milk – Typically used in many Thai desserts, coconut milk is thicker than cow’s milk. It has a subtle sweet taste and a lovely coconut flavour.
- Coconut cream – The cousin of coconut milk, coconut cream is much richer and fattier. This will give the cake its soft, rich texture. You can substitute it with more coconut milk or buttermilk if you can’t find cream.
- Coconut flour – Made from pure coconut, organic coconut flour is a bit coarser than white flour. This type of flour is used a lot in Ketogenic baking, as it has less carbohydrates than plain white flour. I find that coconut flour soaks up much more liquid than plain flour, so it needs a bit more wet ingredients.
- Shredded coconut – Entirely optional or interchangeable with the coconut flour. Shredded coconut adds a bit more texture and flavour to the sponge cake.
- Toasted coconut – This is used for the crunchy layer, knows as ‘croustillant’ . The toasted coconut gives the most intense and caramelised flavour. Hands down this is my favourite part of the cake!
The Cake Fillings
Unlike most cake recipes that use only buttercream frosting, this recipe is a little more complex. This cake is seriously next level by using a combination of ganache, homemade jam, fresh fruit and syrup. Each layer adds a new flavour and helps create a really delicious lime coconut cake.
So what do we fill this gorgeous cake with, you ask?
- White chocolate ganache – This is the elevated cousin of buttercream. It is made from only two ingredients, white chocolate and double (heavy) cream. Ganache is super creamy, light, yet enables the cake to hold shape once chilled. This makes it perfect for taller cakes, like the one in this recipe.
- Mango and lime jam – Ever since I made this jam for my Mango Scones with Homemade Mango Jam, I have been in love with it! You might remember this recipe from the Netflix show I was on called Crazy Delicious. It’s really flavourful and zingy, taking the edge off the sweetness of the chocolate ganache.
- Fresh mango slices – I cannot stress enough how important it is to have fresh fruit in this cake. This takes the cake from homemade to high-end in a few minutes. To prevent sinking in the cake it’s crucial the fruit, slice the mango very thinly and drain it of excess liquid.
- Lime syrup – Although not specifically a filling, the lime syrup does work with all the other flavours. By keeping it super tangy and flavourful, the syrup also helps keep the coconut sponge super moist.
Decorating the Coconut Birthday Cake
Since the lime coconut cake is quite complex in terms of construction and flavours, you can leave the cake as plain as possible. If you do want it to look as impressive as it tastes, you can decorate it with candied slices of lime.
Candied citrus slices are really easy to make and you only need very basic ingredients: water and sugar. They look really beautiful as decorations, even though they’re super easy to make. If you’re feeling extra, you can also paint some of the slices gold or other amazing colours.
Here’s how you can make candied citrus slices:
How to make candied lemon slices
Method 1 – a little more time consuming
- Prepare a bowl of iced water.
- In a wide saucepan, place 200g water and 200g sugar. Set it to boil.
- Once it boils, add thinly sliced lime in a single layer.
- Boil for 15-20 minutes until the slices become slightly translucent.
- Place on a lined baking tray and dry at 100C for one hour or until the sliced harden slightly.
- Turn the oven on and let the candied slices dry overnight.
Method 2 – Super quick and easy
- Coat both sides of citrus slices in sugar.
- Place on a lined baking tray and cook at 160C for 15 minutes until the slices harden slightly. Keep an eye on the slices so they don’t brown.
- Reduce heat to 90-100C and dry out for half an hour to 1 hour.
- Place slices on a cooling rack and let dry in the oven.
You can prepare the lemon and lime slices the night before using them. Some of the slices have been sprayed with lustre dust for extra sparkle. Attaching them to the finished coconut cake is quite simple. Push the candied slices into the chocolate ganache slightly until they stick to the surface. To layer multiple slices, I used some sugarcraft wire to hold the slices in place.
When attaching flowers or leaves to the cake, I recommend using edible ones. Some examples are edible pansies, elderflower or lavender. Alternatively, you can do what I did – wrap the stem in some aluminium foil before attaching to cake. This prevents any non-edible plant sap from seeping into the cake.
The Perfect Birthday Cake
I created this lime coconut cake for my sister’s 30th birthday and needed to make it extra special. This cake goes perfectly for family-sized parties, as it holds around 12-14 generous servings. The cake is only 8 inches in diameter, but it quite tall, so your slices will stand tall!
For wedding cakes, I would recommend doubling or even tripling the recipe. Don’t forget to test the recipe beforehand so you can get it right on the special day!
Here’s a photo of my beautiful sister enjoying her very special Coconut Birthday Cake!
Tips & tricks
- Use good quality ingredients – coconut milk, cream, flakes, fresh mango and lime.
- Room temperature ingredients – it’s essential the eggs, coconut milk and cream are at room temperature.
- Take your time – make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare all the elements of the cake.
- Make the jam in advance – the mango lime jam can be made in advance by up to 2-3 months. Make sure you store it in an airtight container in the fridge or can it in a hot water bath.
- Prepare the pailette feuilletine in advance – by up to 1 month. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Use the syrup from the candied citrus as to soak your cake with. Save any remaining syrup for cocktails!
- Let the sponge cake chill in the fridge overnight before slicing or levelling. This way you will have less crumbs and the cuts will be more sharp.
- Layer the cake in a cake ring to keep it perfectly straight. When layering the ganache and jam, the layers of sponge can slide around, resulting in an uneven cake. By using a cake ring, the layers will stay in place and the cake will be straight.
- Use multiple cake tins/pans to bake the sponge for an even bake. You can use 2 or 4 cake pans to bake the sponge, but the baking times will differ. If using 2 pans, the sponge will take roughly 40-45 minutes to bake. Also, you will then need to cut each sponge in half to get 4 layers of sponge. If using 4 separate cake pans, baking time will be less – around 30 minutes.
- Check if your sponge if baked by using a skewer or toothpick and inserting it in the middle. The cake is properly baked if the skewer comes out clean. If there’s any type of creamy batter on the skewer, leave it to bake longer.
Frequently asked questions
This cake is best stored in the fridge. As the ganache contains white chocolate, it can start melting if left in warm temperatures.. To store, place the cake in a tall cake box and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Ensure there are no smells in your fridge that can alter the flavours in the cake – such as raw onion or fragrant foods.
Lime coconut cake can be frozen. However, I recommend freezing the unassembled cake to avoid the cake becoming soggy when thawed. Freeze the coconut sponge by wrapping it in 2 layers of plastic wrap and 1 layer of aluminium foil. To prevent any freezer burn, store the sponge inside an airtight container.
Yes, you leave out the crunchy layer with pailette feuilletine and toasted coconut. Instead, just sprinkle some toasted coconut over the mango jam for additional flavour.
There could be a few reasons for this. Firstly, you may have over-mixed the cake batter. Ensure you only mix the batter until there are no more lumps, roughly 1 minute. Secondly, you may have added less liquids that the recipe asks for. The batter will appear very liquid, which yields a super soft cake. Double check you have added all the milk and cream.
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Lime Coconut Cake with Mango Jam
- 300 g plain all purpose flour (2 ⅓ cups)
- 50 g coconut flour* (⅓ cups)
- 6 g salt (1 tsp)
- 300 g sugar (1 ½ cups)
- 7 g baking powder (1 tsp)
- 10 g vanilla extract (2 tsp)
- 220 g unsalted butter, room temp (1 cup)
- 150 g coconut milk (⅔ cup)
- 150 g coconut cream (⅔ cup)
- 4 egg white, large
- 300 g water (1 ¼ cup)
- 200 g sugar (1 cup)
- 15 g lime juice (1 tbsp)
Pailette Feuilletine (For Crunchy Layer)*
- 2 egg whites, large
- 60 g sugar (⅓ cup)
- 60 g melted butter (¼ cup)
- 60 g flour (½ cup)
Toasted Coconut Crunchy Layer*
- 60 g white chocolate, melted (⅓ cup)
- 15 g vegetable oil* (3 ¼ tsp)
- 30 g pailette feuilletine* (about ⅛ recipe)
- 30 g coconut flakes (⅓ cup)
Lime Chocolate Ganache
- 80 g heavy cream (⅓ cup)
- 110 g white chocolate* (⅔ cup)
- 2 g gelatin powder (⅔ tsp)
- 10 g lime juice (2 ¼ tsp)
Lime & Mango Jam
- 300 g mango, chopped (2 cups)
- 150 g jam sugar* (¾ cup)
- 130 g lime juice, freshly squeezed (½ cup)
- 5 g gelatin powder (1 ⅔ tsp)
- Line and butter two 20 cm (8-inch cake pans). Pre-heat oven to 180°C with fan (360°F). In a bowl, combine the flour, coconut flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well to combine evenly.
- In a separate bowl, cream the room temperature butter until nice and fluffy. Start adding half of the sugar slowly until fully incorporated. The butter should increase in volume a little.
- Add the coconut milk, cream and extracts (all at room temp) and combine well. Start adding the dry ingredients slowly and mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whip up the eggs, adding the remaining sugar slowly. Mix until you reach stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter, folding them in slowly with a spatula. Do this in 2 or 3 stages, mixing until the batter is just about combined. We do not want to deflate all that lovely air we whipped into the egg whites.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins*, then bake for 40-45 minutes until light golden. The cake is done when a skewer comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before wrapping in cling film and letting it chill in the fridge overnight. This will make cutting the cake much easier.
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil.
- Cook liquid until it reduces in volume and becomes thicker.
- Let cool before using.
Pailette Feuilletine *
- Combine all the ingredients into a fine paste.
- Spread thinly onto a lined baking tray and bake at 180°C for 8-10 minutes or until light brown in colour.
- Let cool, then using your hands crush the thin layer into small flakes. The flakes should feel like crunchy crackers, so quite hard. Set aside for later use.
Toasted Coconut Crunchy Layer *
- Toast the coconut flakes for 5-8 minutes until golden-brown in colour.
- Melt the white chocolate (chopped thinly) in the microwave in small bursts of 30 seconds, then 15 seconds. Mix after each interval to melt the chocolate.
- Mix all the ingredients into the chocolate and set aside.
Lime Chocolate Ganache
- Mix the gelatin with the lime juice and set aside to bloom. Heat up the heavy (double) cream in a microwave for 30-40 seconds or until hot.
- Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate (chopped thinly) and let it sit for 5 minutes. Afterwards, mix well to melt the chocolate until there are no more lumps left.
- When the mixture is warm to the touch but not hot, add the bloomed gelatin and mix well to combine. Cover with cling film and place in fridge to chill for a minimum of 1 hour.
Mango and lime jam
- Chop the mango or pulse in a food processor to get a thick paste. Optional: Add a little mint for extra freshness.
- Add the mango paste to a saucepan over low-medium heat, then add the jam sugar and lime juice (save 1 tbsp of juice). Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the jam has thickened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool down.
- Add the gelatin to the 1 tbsp of lime juice you saved aside, then stir it well to dissolve. Let it bloom for 5 minutes.
- Let mango jam cool down for 15 minutes, the mix in the bloomed gelatin. Place the finished jam in a tray or plate, cover with cling film and let cool. Place in fridge to set completely before using.
Assembling the cake
- Line a tall 20 cm (8-inch) cake form with food-grade acetate or baking paper. Using a cake form will ensure the cake will be straight and prevent collapse.
- Whip up the ganache using a hand mixer until it becomes light and airy. Place the lime ganache into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm (½ inch) plain round nozzle. Stir the mango jam to loosen it up, then place it in a piping bag. Cut 1 small mango into thin and even slices.
- Place the first sponge at the bottom. Pipe a thick layer of chocolate ganache around the outer perimeter of the circle. Make sure you get it all the way to the edges.Pipe mango jam in the middle and place fresh mango slices on top.
- Add the toasted coconut crunchy layer with a spoon, pressing slowly to get an even layer. If the chocolate on the crunchy layer mixture has hardened, place it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to loosen it up.
- Place the next coconut sponge and repeat the process with the ganache, jam and fresh mango layers. Repeat the same process for the third layer of sponge cake.
- Add the top layer of sponge, then cover it with a thin layer of chocolate ganache (roughly 4-5mm). Level the ganache as best as you can. Place cake in fridge to chill for 4-5 hours.
- Once chilled, remove the cake from the cake form. Add some chocolate ganache to the sides of the cake, smoothing it out with a spatula. Chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to set the ganache. If you're making a 'naked cake', one layer of ganache is enough. For full coverage, you will need 2 layers of ganache, with 1-2 hours chilling time in between the layers.
- Attach the candied lemon slices and flowers. Use sugarcraft wire if needed to hold the candied lime slices in place. Keep cake in the fridge and remove 30 minutes before cutting it.
- I recommend using a kitchen scale in grams for more accuracy. The cups used for the conversion are standard US customary cups (1 cup flour = 136g). There are many different types of cups across the globe, which is why I strongly recommend using grams instead.
- Coconut flour cannot be replaced with plain flour in the same quantity. You will need 3 times the amount of plain flour.
- The crunchy layer is optional and can be left out. This layer is included to add more coconut flavour and also introduce a different texture to the cake.
- Pailette feuilletine can be made in advance by 1-2 months and stored in an airtight container.
- Use non-flavoured vegetable oil, such as sunflower.
- For the ganache, use high quality white chocolate. Do not use baking chocolate, instead get white chocolate you would like to eat.
- Jam sugar is a type of sugar that contains pectin, a natural substance that helps jams thicken. If you cannot find jam sugar, replace it with regular sugar and liquid pectin. Use liquid pectin as indicated on the label.
- You can use either 2 or 4 cake pans. If using 2 pans, the sponge will take roughly 40-45 minutes to bake. You will then need to cut each sponge in half to get 4 layers of sponge. If using 4 separate cake pans, baking time will be less – around 30 minutes (check if baked with skewer).